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Admissions: 866-504-4966 | COVID-19

Shane H.

Ever since I was a teenager I suffered from mental illness, but I want to skip over to April of 2017 when things started to become really bad for me.


Shane H

What I have now that I didn’t have only a few months ago, is hope. I have hope for the future. One day at a time. One task a time. I do believe now that I have a life worth living.


I had a lot of life changing events that all happened within the period of a month, both professionally and personally. My depression started to become severe. I experienced terrible anxiety, frequent panic and anxiety attacks both at home, in social situations, and also in the workplace. I started to experience a lot of suicidal idealization.

Between April of 2017 and when I entered Skyland Trail this past July, I was hospitalized on eight different occasions. Not including Skyland Trail, I was a client at five different residential treatment programs throughout the United States. I also went through two, twelve round sessions of ECT, and I went to three IOP programs. Nothing was working. Nobody could figure it out. I think it was a combination of where I was, whether I was ready or not, and just the proper care that I was getting.

Hospitals are generally holding pens until you’re stable enough to release. Treatment centers were basically over-medicating me, and it was having a reverse effect. Their answer to everything was, “Take this pill.”

The last hospital I was at in June of this year, things started to change. I got off a lot of the medication, and the social worker that was assigned to me did a lot of research. She found Skyland Trail and thought Skyland Trail would be a wonderful place for me. She thought it had exactly what I needed to recover and get well. So I took her advice and came to Skyland Trail. It’s been an experience that I’ve never had before and one that I will cherish and remember forever.

From day one I was introduced to an incredibly wonderful, supportive, loving, and caring staff of trained professionals and people that were going to support me, help me, guide me, and teach me. And that’s what they did while I was in treatment for 90 days.

I was in the DBT track, and that was what I considered to be probably the most helpful thing for me. I listened. I learned. I studied. And then I applied. I learned an incredible set of skills that I can carry with me for the rest of my life. Skills that allow me to rethink and change my thought patterns. Skills that allow me to handle life situations, what to do when my intensity level is high, how to get out of distress, and how to cope ahead with situations in life. The one consistent constant in life is going to be change, whether I like it or not. DBT has taught me how to handle change. There’s a set of 30 or so different skills that you can apply in your day to day life that will help you to regulate your emotions, to get out of high levels of intensity, to handle stress, pressure, anxiety, and life.

That’s what I’m doing now. I’m about two months after finishing my treatment at Skyland Trail, and now I’m in a different form of treatment. I have an outside support team with an outside therapist, who is actually a former Skyland Trail employee that specializes in DBT. I have an outside psychiatrist as well, and I’m living in transitional living.

Skyland Trail didn’t just teach me skills. The most important thing is it taught me how to take care of myself, how not to be dependent on others to make me feel better. That’s what I always did. Now I know how to do for myself, and I didn’t know how to do for myself before I got here. I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but before I got here, I didn’t know how to shop for food. I didn’t know how to do my laundry, fold my clothes, cook meals, or send an email. I know how to do all of these things now.

At Skyland Trail’s Transitional Housing, I have more independence and more freedom. I’m expected to do these things for myself. It’s teaching me how to integrate back into society. It’s teaching me how to work, how to have a schedule, how to get to my appointments on time, how to take care of all of my responsibilities. I also have two work adjustment positions at Skyland Trail. What I really want to do now is give back to Skyland Trail in any way possible. It’s very important to me to stay connected to the Skyland Trail community.

What I have now that I didn’t have only a few months ago, is hope. I have hope for the future. One day at a time. One task a time. I do believe now that I have a life worth living.